Mon 01 Nov 2021

How to upgrade the energy efficiency of the property you’re buying

Save money on your new monthly outgoings

The UK is in the midst of an energy crisis, with predictions that over 60 small energy providers could collapse in the coming weeks leaving only 10 suppliers left in the market. If you have held a tariff with a small company such as Green or Avro who have collapsed in the last few days, then Ofgem will arrange a new supplier for you. However, there’s an expectation that your monthly bills may rise, and with a 250% surge in gas prices since the beginning of the year, it’s looking like it’ll be an expensive winter.

Check the EPC

If you’re in the process of buying a property, never has it been as important to check the Energy Performance Certificate of the home. Estate agents in Romford explain that an EPC contains information about a property’s typical energy usage and costs, along with recommendations on how to increase the efficiency of the home. The certificate will grade the property from A, which is most efficient to G, which is the least efficient grading and this score is valid for 10 years.

So, if your dream home is scoring poorly, does that mean you should move on and check out homes with a higher EPC grade? Not necessarily. Check out some of these eco-friendly ways to save money on energy bills.

Wall insulation

Homes built after the 1920s may have cavity walls meaning that there will be a gap between the outside wall and the internal plasterboards. This is great for preventing damp but can be draughty. Cavity wall insulation is an inexpensive solution that lasts a long time and can save you up to £250 per year, according to Which?

Homes built before the 1920s are more likely to have solid walls, which means that your insulation will need to go on the outside of your brickwork. This is more expensive, but grants are available through the Energy Company Obligation scheme.

Loft insulation

If you haven’t insulated your roof, then you might be losing as much as a quarter of your home’s heat through the top of your house. Loft insulation is a job that can be undertaken by DIY enthusiasts, and the savings can add up to £215 per year. As above, grants are also available.

Solar panelling

Solar water heating and Solar PV are two different types of panels available for your home. By using energy from the sun, even on cloudy days, this is converted into heating for your hot water tank or home heating which is essentially free energy. You can also use this energy to charge an electric vehicle, to make your savings stretch even further.

For any solar energy you don’t use up, suppliers are now obliged to buy this back from you to increase the amount of green energy on the grid.

Double glazing

If your property doesn’t yet have double glazing, then this is an easy switch to make so that your home remains warmer for longer. If you already have double glazed windows and doors that have been installed for a while, check these for signs of wear and tear. Any mist between the panes or draughts seeping through are a red flag that the sealing mechanism has failed.

Boiler upgrade

No one enjoys replacing their boiler, but by making the switch to a modern condensing model, you could save up to £652 per year.

Whilst all of these recommendations will help you to save money to some degree, remember to check the specific guidance in your property’s EPC before you commit to any changes.

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